Surprise, Surprise, People Don’t Like Crappy Movies
Does anyone know what Disney’s John Carter is supposed to be about? I’ve seen a couple trailers and I certainly have no idea. Semi-related question: does anyone care? Apparently not:
Hollywood is in a tizzy over the early tracking which just came online this morning for Walt Disney Studios‘ John Carter opening March 9th. “Not good. 2 unaided, 53 aware, 27 definitely interested, 3 first choice,” a senior exec at a rival studio emails me. Another writes me, ”It just came out. Women of all ages have flat out rejected the film. The tracking for John Carter is shocking for a film that cost over $250 million. This could be the biggest writeoff of all time.” I’m hearing figures in the neighborhood of $100 million. And the studio isn’t even trying to spin reports of the 3D pic’s bloated budget any more.
Who knew that showing a bunch of incoherent images from your movie wasn’t an effective marketing strategy? Maybe this will convince studios to stop spending millions of dollars making 3D poop-smears?
Now, to be fair, this very soft tracking has been expected. The studios’ private reports have shown for some time very soft awareness and very little wannasee. So what’s Disney’s explanation? “It’s the last leftover from the previous regime of Dick Cook,” an executive who works for successor Rich Ross reminds me. “We’re not running away from the movie. Our job is to sell it.”
“I’m not running away from this, but it’s totally someone else’s fault that it sucks.”
Here’s some helpful advice: instead of making and trying to sell the movies that your predecessor — who you clearly don’t think very highly of — left you with, just kill the project. That way you don’t have to take a $100 MM write-off.